The R programming language is an important tool for development in the numeric analysis and machine learning spaces.
With machines becoming more important as data generators, the popularity of the language can only be expected to grow. For machine learning, R’s advantages are linked mostly to R’s strong ties to academia. Any new research in the field probably has an accompanying R package to go with it from the get-go. So in this respect, R stays at the cutting edge. A lot of popular machine learning algorithms are implemented in R.